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HardiePlank vs. Vinyl Siding: Which is Better?

September 11th, 2012 | 5 min. read

HardiePlank vs. Vinyl Siding: Which is Better?

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Just the other day I had another customer ask me what were the pros and cons of HardiePlank® siding versus vinyl siding, which is a very common question for anyone looking trying to decide which type of siding is best for them. Let’s take a closer look….

Vinyl Siding Pros and Cons

Vinyl siding is made of plastic and if installed correctly can help a home owner achieve a low maintenance home.  Vinyl has been widely sold since the early 1980s and is best installed by an experienced installer.  Vinyl is the same color all the way through and typically is installed over your existing wood.  If you have rotted or warped wood, it is recommended to have the rot replaced with new wood so that the wall surface is sound and flat.  The upside to vinyl is that it can be installed quickly and is relatively low-maintenance, with the average job typically between $20,000 and $30,000.


The downside to owning vinyl siding is that it a thing of the past.  There is not very much vinyl siding being sold anymore, as more and more home owners prefer a more up-to-date look and don’t like the looks of vinyl because it can have a fake plastic appearance.

A major problem with vinyl is that because it is plastic, it has the tendency to warp and sometimes blister in the heat.  You are also limited to a few select colors.

Real estate agents are hearing more today that if the house has vinyl on it, the buyer would prefer to see something else.  At one time, over 20 years ago, vinyl would enhance the value and look of a home.  Everything evolves over time, even building materials.


Is Vinyl Siding Still Popular? 

Vinyl siding is still a popular option in San Antonio, Texas, and in many other parts of the United States. There are several reasons why vinyl siding remains a popular choice for homeowners:

  • Affordability: Vinyl siding is often less expensive than other siding options, such as wood or brick.

  • Low maintenance: Vinyl siding is easy to maintain and typically requires only occasional cleaning to keep it looking its best.

  • Durability: Vinyl siding is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as high winds, rain, and extreme temperatures.

  • Variety of colors and styles: Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose an option that best suits their taste and complements their home's architecture.

That being said, while vinyl siding can be a great option for many homes in San Antonio, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Factors like the age and condition of your home, your personal preferences, and your budget may all influence your decision when it comes to selecting the right siding material for your home. It may be helpful to consult with a local siding expert or contractor who can help you weigh the pros and cons of different siding options and choose the best one for your needs.


Which Siding is the Most Popular? 

As of 2021, the estimated market share of exterior siding materials in the United States is as follows:

  • Vinyl siding: 28.6%
  • Fiber cement siding: 21.8%
  • Brick and brick veneer: 20.8%
  • Stucco: 10.6%
  • Wood siding: 8.5%
  • Engineered wood siding: 3.9%
  • Other materials (including metal, stone, and synthetic stucco): 5.8%

It's worth noting that these numbers are subject to change over time as trends and preferences shift, and different regions of the country may have different market share percentages based on factors like climate, local building codes, and architectural styles.


HardiePlank® Siding Pros and Cons

HardiePlank® is currently the number one brand of choice for siding.  It’s made out of fiber cement and is considered a composite material.  Composites are the more popular choice today for a low maintenance solution.  HardiePlank® siding has a class A fire rating, which is the same as brick.  In most cases, home owners can even get their home owners’ insurance reduced.  It resists termites, wood peckers, hail, and moisture.  When installed correctly, HardiePlank® siding can make your home look brand new with a wood grain that looks real.

HardiePlank® siding has many choices when it comes to style and wood grain.  An experienced designer can help you select the right grain and style for your home.  Products may be purchased  primed or factory-applied with ColorPlus® Technology finish.  HardiePlank® siding comes with a 30-year nonprorated, transferable, limited warranty.  There are paint coatings in the industry that can be applied to HardiePlank® siding that are also guaranteed by the paint manufacturer for 25 years.

The down side to HardiePlank® siding is the installation process.  There are many companies out there that say they offer and install HardiePlank® siding, but it takes a very experienced technician to install it correctly.  There are very extensive specifications on how to properly install HardiePlank® siding and special tools that are required to achieve a nice looking outcome.

In most cases, HardiePlank® siding will take 10-12 days to install and then will need a professional painter to spend around one week to apply a paint coating correctly.  Today HardiePlank® siding is the choice for the majority of home owners.


Is James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding Worth The Investment?

The value of James Hardie fiber cement siding will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, your budget, and the condition of your home's exterior. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Durability: James Hardie fiber cement siding is known for its durability and resistance to moisture, fire, and pests. This can help protect your home and potentially save you money on maintenance and repairs in the long run.

  • Aesthetics: James Hardie siding comes in a variety of profiles from lap to shake siding, so you can choose an option that complements your home's architecture and your personal taste.

  • Cost: Fiber cement siding can be more expensive than other siding options, such as vinyl or wood. However, the durability and longevity of the product may make it a worthwhile investment over time.

  • Climate: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as frequent hurricanes, tornadoes, or hailstorms, James Hardie fiber cement siding may be a good choice due to its strength and durability.

Ultimately, whether or not James Hardie fiber cement siding is worth the expense will depend on your individual situation and priorities. It may be helpful to consult with a professional contractor or siding expert to discuss your options and determine what will work best for you.


Questions about HardiePlank® or vinyl siding? Don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts below or contact us directly!

Scott Frazier



- The data on the estimated market share of exterior siding materials in the United States is based on a report by Principia Consulting titled "Residential Siding 2021: Demand, Installation Practices, and Material Trends". This report is a comprehensive study of the residential siding market in the United States, and provides detailed information on market share, demand, installation practices, and material trends for different types of exterior siding